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Ellipses of love and shame, Pt 1

by Jacopo Mulini 10 months ago in love · updated 10 months ago
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Openness and freedom in love

Ellipses of love and shame, Pt 1
Photo by NASA on Unsplash

In a binary star system, two stars move in an elliptical orbit around a ‘centre of mass’ – the empty space that balances their respective gravities and the point at which they are at their closest. They are gravitationally bound to each other, undeniably attracted, but moving on their own elliptical paths. This is their love story.


I hadn’t seen her coming, but her punch landed true. The pain in my stomach meant that she was either mad, or wanting to be pushed back. But I think I was more stunned by the attraction I felt than the punch itself. I was one of the only stars moving in the crowd, and she wanted in on the little mosh I’d started with some strangers. She wanted to jump and push and dance to the greatest rock band this side of Betelgeuse, and I couldn’t deny the gravitational pull that I felt towards her that night. So I pushed her back.

We’d connected immediately, but intentionally kept a distant orbit over the following epochs as we had matters of the heart adrift elsewhere in the Milky Way. But when the time was right, we quickly fell into something deep – those rarest of connections where you can’t even think straight, and you have to keep every ounce of your rational being in check.


She’d spent the last six million Earth years in a tight, radial orbit with another star. A good star, but a different star. So right now, despite our connection, she needs to live freely. To let her coronal mass ejections down and experience life outside of a tight orbit. She needs not to express herself, but to discover just who she is to be expressed. I’d been through this myself, and I understood.

“Go out into far orbit where you can barely feel me”, I urged her. “Let the universe hold you and seduce you, let it hurt you and challenge you. See what it makes you feel about yourself, about life and everything, and about you and me. And if you come back, tell me what you’ve learned, about your growth, your rhythm, and your divinity. Come back and tell me who you are.”


“What did you see out there?” I asked.

“Baby, I saw a comet. He was so beautiful, and I kissed him. I kissed him to feel something new, to be free, and to see what I felt about you in that moment.”

“And what did you feel?”

“At first, I felt uneasy. About you. But then I remembered that you would be happy for me. That I was exploring myself, my needs and desires. Then I felt the freedom, and the empowerment that comes with that. And, ultimately, I felt closer to you than ever before.”

Jealousy washed over me, prickling and white-hot. Manifesting like shame and the sinking realisation of a fool. But I only felt that way because I’d grown up being told by the Cosmic Society that this was bad; I didn’t actually think that it was. It was the old story around it that only hurt if I chose to believe it. In a matter of minutes, I remembered what we’d set out for and what was important here. That her nuclear fusion and casual orbit around Sagittarius-A were as vivid and complex to her as mine is to me, and that once upon a time I needed this too. And with that, I was beyond the jealousy and entering a deep and surreal happiness.

When I balanced my ego with empathy, I found gratitude. Gratitude that as she ventured out into far orbit, far from me, she sought the space to find herself, to find meaning, to know the universe, and to know us. She found more riches, new experiences to bring back to our ‘centre of mass’ – the empty space where we come together and share each other, deeply and presently, until it’s time to head out again. To head out with intention, free to explore what we need at this moment. To understand ourselves and to accept the other, and come back with greater gravity, richer.

These are the riches on which our third being is built. The building of a third being, us, our ‘centre of mass’, an empty space built with our gravity that grows from our unique experiences, filled with what we share and surrounded by what we don’t.

As I go through my own ellipses, I’ve come to realise that the growth that I have on my own, while spectacular and meaningful, is dwarfed by the growth of when we share our individual experiences with kindness and warmth – when we challenge each other’s egos. And this is the point of it all, to inspire growth in each other through our openness where we practice humility and acceptance, pushing our own boundaries with support, and the grace to let the other go and feel alive. To break off the shame that is tied to ways of feeling alive, that makes us control everything for our fear of being made into a ‘fool’ when we give freely.

Ironic as it sounds, I know this is the orbit to freedom. I’ve thought about it for eons, but this is my first experience, I’m new here too. I’ve prepared for this in theory over and again, but the time has finally come to practice, I’ve finally found someone open to this transcendent experience, someone safe. It’s not going to be an easy road when the social walls of love and shame, the galactic standard model, built inside my core embody what I’m trying to leave behind.

The status-quo is ill-fitted to me, not that I think it’s not right for others, but because I can’t be around all the time and I want to push myself through new emotional horizons. These ellipses are about tearing down those social walls that are designed for a certain character, a certain way of living. And ultimately, when the walls are down, I will be free. And she will be free. Free of jealousy and free to love, free to step aside and weep, and to simply feel the wind.

We must continue on our own ellipses, freely licking the universe and following our interests and needs, otherwise we will coalesce until we are the same. Then there will be no more far orbit adventures, no more riches to share, just a dullness.

These ellipses won’t be without conflict; it will take strength to break through the overthink. But approached with openness and kindness, and just giving-a-shit about each other’s emotional experience will get us through. If we didn’t want conflict we’d submit to someone else’s model, only to have the spirit at our core erode away. To become a dead star, adrift around a supermassive black hole.

As each near orbit comes to an end, and it’s time to head far out onto the ellipse again, the goodbyes get harder. Jealousy passes in minutes, but the pain of the goodbye lasts an eon. But it’s a good pain. As I recognise that it is the intention and the self-exploration – the growth of our individual gravities through our own adventures – that provides us with the raw materials for which we creatively build our third being, our ‘centre of mass’, that makes our connection ever stronger. When the power of the increasing pain in the goodbye is far stronger than the pain and jealousy of growth, then I know that the adventures are worth it, and that the connection built on the experiences of our freedoms is far stronger than a connection without it.


"Spiral out, keep going."


About the author

Jacopo Mulini

Sometimes fictional, sometimes philosophical, sometimes biographical, but mostly as a blend. These stories are my journeys through my loves and my shames, my ego and my empathy, and my detached wormhole thoughts.


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